A new report predicts that the next decade will be defined by the battery-powered transportation revolution, with electric folding bikes set to be the best-selling electric vehicles of the future. Electric folding bikes have not sold well in most countries over the years. However, this is starting to change thanks to improvements in lithium-ion battery technology, price and power, and the shift from gasoline-powered vehicles to zero-emission vehicles. Analysts now say they expect sales of electric folding bikes to grow at a breakneck pace over the next few years.
The dramatic increase in sales seems to herald a dramatic shift in the way people travel. In fact, from 2019 to 2022, the percentage of people who cycle to work will increase by 1 percentage point. It may not seem like much on the surface, but with the low base, the difference between the two will be staggering. Adding tens of billions of bike rides each year means fewer rides and lower emissions, with spillover effects on traffic congestion and urban air quality. Sales of electric folding bikes have grown steadily over the years, but they still represent a small fraction of the overall U.S. bicycle market.
Still, in the U.S., EV sales are indeed weak. Despite aggressive policies in Europe aimed at reducing carbon emissions from new cars, the U.S. government has struggled to roll back Obama-era rules aimed at improving fuel efficiency. Tesla has sold hundreds of thousands of vehicles, but traditional automakers have struggled to find similar success for their first electric vehicles. Electric folding bikes are likely to grow in popularity. Electrification allows for more experimentation in the overall dimension. The bike can be reconfigured to carry kids, groceries, and even local deliveries.
Electric folding bikes are cheaper, easier to charge, and don't require massive investment in supporting infrastructure. Cities can make the necessary changes to encourage more people to ride bicycles. Such as creating a network of protected bike lanes, limiting car use in certain areas, and providing safe places to lock and store bikes.